We’re teachers and we know being an educator is hard work. It takes a lot of time to plan awesome lessons, teach with passion and provide quality feedback so our students can be the best humans that they’re capable of. While it sounds easy, it is not. Often times, teachers are overworked, underappreciated, and undervalued.
At TeachFI, we want to highlight and celebrate teachers. Every month, we will celebrate a teacher who is making a difference in their community.
So, let’s celebrate our Featured Teacher!
Mr. Chris Lavold
English Teacher of 22 years at Mauston High School in Wisconsin.
Reading is a life skill that will never stop helping you in the work world or your personal life. It can also provide a lot of entertainment and guidance.
Both of my parents were teachers as was my grandmother. My sister is also a teacher. I liked the lifestyle and really wanted to be a coach. The funny part is I wanted to coach basketball and hook up with a college program some day. Instead, I coached baseball for 21 years and football for 13 years. I have coached basketball at the middle school level for five years.
Watching students get excited about something or having the light bulb go off in their head when they grasp a concept. My proudest moment was working to make something I found hard and disliked (Shakespeare) to something I now relish teaching to my students. It has become such a passion that I now travel around the United States talking passionately about Shakespeare and working for the world renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.
I have read a lot of favorite books. I enjoy many authors, but suspense and mysteries are my favorite. Some authors I enjoy are John Sandford, James Patterson, Jo Nesbø, John Grisham, Stephen King, and C.J. Box. My all time favorite book is a book that puzzles me daily and keeps me on my toes: The Bible.
My biggest challenge in the classroom is staying caught up with the paperwork. I love to teach new concepts, experience literature together with my students, but the grading can be overwhelming in the English classroom if you don’t stay on top of it.
My biggest challenge outside the classroom is the constant battle with myself to be the best I can be. Body weight has always been a struggle for me and I am currently working to curb my carbohydrate and sugar consumption.
I think it is a great idea and should be on everyone’s radar as early as possible.
GOALS: I would like to be able to…
- pay my bills every month,
- take care of all of my basic necessities,
- have a little family fun,
- and still have some money left over to invest/save for retirement.
- Start a 403b tax sheltered annuity and/or a Roth IRA as soon as possible. Putting away money when you’re young will grow into much more rather than if you wait until you are midway through your career to start getting serious about your retirement funding.
What District/State Benefits do you take advantage of?:
- I did take advantage of meeting with a WEA Member Benefits rep that the school set up for employees to get questions answered about retirement. We analyzed our family savings and I learned some valuable information that I didn’t know. For example, I know that age 57-60 is my target date for retirement if I want to retire with maximum financial benefits.
Favorite Classroom or Life-Hacks
- A school hack is having your next day laid out before leaving so that there is no stress when coming the next morning. I also try and work for 60-90 minutes after the students have gone home for the day. Outside of my job, exercise is key. No matter how hard it is to get started, I always feel great after a workout. Listening to Music and Reading are two things I enjoy to help me relax. Traveling with my family is always time well spent even if the car rides can sometimes make me a little crazy.
- I’ve found that a low carb diet is a great way to make pounds melt off and help clear my mind of brain fog and lethargy.
I would write a great book or screenplay.
Is there anything you’d like to get feedback on from our community?
I like to hear what people’s side-jobs [or side-hustles] are.
Where can readers reach you if they want to connect?
Thank you so much to Mr. Lavold for allowing us to celebrate you in our first edition of Featured Teacher. I love that you teach Shakespeare to your students and find ways for them to also enjoy it.
If you feel there’s a teacher who should be celebrated, please let us know.